What a delight it was to read the stories and see the pictures of all those bright, motivated, energetic young people in your "20<30" cover story (January 23rd issue). This story makes me happy every year, when I realize again how many young movers and shakers there are out there, dedicated to making a positive change for the ol' Bluff City. They give me yet more reasons to be hopeful about the future of Memphis. A nice balance to all the mindless hatin'.
Thanks for publishing Toby Sells' story on District Attorney Amy Weirich's response to her assistant Thomas Henderson's censure, guilty plea, and fine by the [Tennessee] Supreme Court's Office of Professional Responsibility ("The Defense Rests," January 30th issue).
If you or I or anyone else violated the rules and honor code of our profession and were reprimanded by the independent body charged with maintaining its ethical standards, I suspect our bosses would have more to say than, "He's a fine public servant." Weirich's "stand-by-your-man" response made a clear statement about the ethical standards she will accept in her department, and it wasn't a good one.
Les Smith's interesting column, "Be a Simple Man" (At Large, January 23rd issue) about the universal truth and inspirational message found in the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic, "Simple Man," got me thinking about the entire classic rock canon, and how that music continues to enthrall and inspire each succeeding generation since the music was first created.
My definition of classic rock is music that speaks to the human condition with lyrics that people easily relate to, accompanied by music (played by passionate, creative musicians, not machines) that still sounds great after all these years.
Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin stated that even if the world's musicians stopped recording music today, people would have enough recorded music to entertain and inspire generations to come. In a way, classic rock is already doing that. Classic rock was made for the ages.
A recent letter by Cole Mitchell (January 30th issue) was correct about climate change on earth, in the sense that it has been going on for billions of years. He also wrote he doesn't believe in the present climate change being influenced by human activity.
Since the industrial revolution, man has been responsible for most of the pollution in our air, water, and soil. There is a tipping point in any environment where pollution can overtake it and the environment is no longer conducive to life. Too bad Mitchell can't ask all the species that have gone extinct due to climate change.
He thinks it's a crime for President Obama to steer us away from using coal, and that solar energy will never replace this 18th-century energy source. He may even still be using whale oil to light his lamps.
Here is a fact: Every day, the sun pours enough energy onto the earth to power our civilization for a year. We can continue to dig into the earth for sources of energy or we can increase research and development to capture more solar and wind energy. The sun is expected to last for billions of years. Not so for oil, natural gas, and coal.
Your Weekly Moment of Dag
There is no one who hates to be around people who have had too much to drink more than me. But I just heard on the news that if I have a party and someone leaves my house and has a wreck and kills someone because they had too much to drink, I can be charged. That is ridiculous.
How do I stop someone from driving after I've asked them not to? Put them in handcuffs? That is just not right. Am I also going to go to jail because I feed someone beef (I won't. I'm vegan.) and give them a heart attack?
Guess you just can't have a party any more and serve alcoholic drinks. Good grief.